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Review of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. I enjoyed most of the writing and much of the story. The concepts fascinated me, and I bet the characters will stay with me for some years. Still, where Verne managed to surpass my expectations with Around the World in Eighty Days and the From the Earth to the Moon, here I was a little disappointed. Maybe I should blame Disney.

At first, the zoological non sequiturs helped shed some light on Arronax’s character. Then, they started prompting raised eyebrows. By the end of the book, I was rolling my eyes. I didn’t mind most of the pseudoscientific explanations regarding the technical wonders, as delivered from Nemo directly or from Nemo through Arronax. It was all those damned fish that put me over the edge. It might sound a bit pompous to say it like this, but even *I* got a little bored.

More unfortunately, I found that some of the character related intrigue packed in by Verne never gets unpacked. I feel like some of the best material never made the book. Consider this next line a spoiler. Nemo remains a mystery to me. In time, I’ll probably come to appreciate that mystery. So long as he remains unresolved, I suppose he will stay alive and hidden in the deepest undersea chasms of my mind.

Still, the book is worth anyone’s time. I had to say that to balance one more gripe: Nemo’s crew. Who are these people? Oompa Loompa’s have more individuality and dimension. I need to stop. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. I did like the book. Really, I did. Still.

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